Today we’d like to introduce you to Jennifer Hnat.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Food is and always will be a big part of life. We can use it to energize and nourish, celebrate and commemorate, or abuse and punish our body. It is constant in our day to day, much like breath, so having a healthy relationship with food is key for optimal health and wellness.
Like most people, I started out with a relatively normal interaction with food until I started flirting with trendy diets. This lead to an unbalanced approach towards using food as fuel. Once I shifted my intention, eating and nourishing my body from a more mindful and intuitive perspective, deleting diet culture and body obsession, I found true inner food peace. This seems like a miracle since I struggled with a sugar “addiction” for over two decades, cycling through restriction and binging and feeling totally out of control. On top of that, I experimented with a vegan diet for thirteen years, struggled with food intolerances (dairy and gluten).
As a registered dietitian nutritionist specializing in mindful and intuitive eating, the trajectory of my private practice and my personal relationship with food significantly shifted to something that feels incredibly sustainable. I live my most authentic self when I cultivate supportive relationships with clients to help them divorce diet culture, understand why they do what they do with food in a compassionate manner, and help guide them towards a more sustainable future embracing an “all foods fit” philosophy. It’s why I’m on this planet and I feel an enormous amount of gratitude for connecting with the people who are ready to commit to their personal mindful and intuitive eating journey, healing a previous toxic relationship with food.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Wow, no, it has not been a smooth road but each obstacle proved an opportunity to learn more about myself and how I default to certain situations or triggers. Most struggles included me needing to get out of my own way and trusting the process while learning from mistakes.
For young women just starting your journey, don’t overlook the powerful, I mean POWERFUL discipline of meditation. Learn how to do it, learn how to calm your mind so that you can avoid reacting. There is no greater gift you can give yourself than to get quiet and still. The solutions to some of your biggest challenges and obstacles can only come during the silence.
We’d love to hear more about Nutrition Atlanta.
When I first became a dietitian, I taught dieting methods for weight loss and other health conditions. It was great when they say results but then frustrating because clients would follow the diet plan, lose weight, but then gain it back (plus more) and feel like a failure. Once I learned the key principles of mindful and intuitive eating and did my own personal deep dive divorcing myself from diet culture, I started to help clients UN-diet and create a more sustainable relationship with food. Who wants to count calories and macro’s for the rest of their life? Not me.
My personal mindful and the intuitive eating journey has provided the most valuable lessons and wisdom I share with clients to motivate and support them on their path. It takes a bit more work than dieting, but it is the best way to have a positive interaction with nourishing your body joyfully for the rest of your life. Diets are temporary and can easily lead to disordered eating behaviors.
However, there are no negative food repercussions from learning and practicing mindful and intuitive eating skills. So, I am most proud of the fact that I teach these foundational food principles, educate clients on how pervasive diet culture is while being patient and compassionate with them to help discover what types of foods feel best in their body for their ultimate wellness goals. It is a complete paradigm shift from what is popular in diet culture or even still taught in school. I mean I get it, I was stuck in it for decades. But now that I’ve crossed over to the mindful bridge, I can’t go back. It feels too abusive and toxic.
What’s the most important piece of advice you could give to a young woman just starting her career?
The best piece of advice that I wish I had listened to when I was starting my career was to commit to a daily meditation practice. The word meditation had so much baggage and resistance for me. My peaceful meditating mother encouraged me to embrace it as a way to help me with my racing mind and reactive nature. But like everything in life, when the student is ready, the teacher will appear.
If I could have a do-over, I would have learned to meditate sooner because I know that would have to create a willingness to explore mindful eating sooner as well. Had that been my path, I would have prevented years and years of abusive diet behaviors, beliefs, habits, and patterns. The way I see it, I had to go through decades of diet struggles to hold a compassionate space for clients who are stuck in it as well. So, in the end, it was all for the greater good. You can’t avoid struggles. The key is to get quiet and still so that your inner wisdom can help you process it and identify the next best solution and ultimately the wisdom!
- Address: Nutrition Atlanta
1801 Peachtree Street NE
Atlanta, GA 30309
- Website: www.nutritionatlanta.com
- Phone: 404-353-3482
- Email: Jennifer@nutritionatlanta.com
- Instagram: Nutritionatlanta
- Facebook: Newtritionatlanta